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Guidance on fetal alcohol syndrome aims to improve diagnosis and treatment in Scotland

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l396 (Published 24 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l396
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Guidelines to help doctors diagnose fetal alcohol spectrum disorder have been published by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network,1 the first in the UK to cover the disorder.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) describes a cluster of birth defects resulting from alcohol exposure during pregnancy. It can result in brain damage and in its most severe form can cause physical issues including a smaller head and poor growth.

The children affected can have poor education attainment, mental health problems, and a higher risk of addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The guidelines say that early diagnosis can …

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